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Connexin mimetic peptides reversibly inhibit Ca2+ signaling through gap junctions in airway cells

By Scott Boitano and William Howard Evans


The effect of peptides with sequences derived from connexins, the constituent proteins of gap junctions, on mechanically stimulated intercellular Ca(2+) signaling in tracheal airway epithelial cells was studied. Three peptides with sequences corresponding to connexin extracellular loop regions reversibly restricted propagation of Ca(2+) waves to neighboring cells. Recovery of communication began within 10 min of removal of the peptides, with inhibition totally reversed by 20-40 min. The peptides were shown to be more effective in inhibiting Ca(2+) waves than glycyrrhetinic acid or oleamide. Inhibition of intercellular Ca(2+) waves by connexin mimetic peptides did not affect the Ca(2+) response to extracellular ATP. Although the intracellular Ca(2+) response of tracheal epithelial cells to ATP was greatly reduced by either pretreatment with high doses of ATP or application of apyrase, mechanically stimulated intercellular Ca(2+) signaling was not affected by these agents. We conclude that connexin mimetic peptides are effective and reversible inhibitors of gap junctional communication of physiologically significant molecules that underlie Ca(2+) wave propagation in tracheal epithelial cells and propose a potential mechanism for the mode of action of mimetic peptides

Topics: R1
Publisher: American Physiological Society
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:
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